IT was one of the vital vital dates on Arsene Wenger’s calendar — and usually, he claimed he by no means noticed it.
This was the Frenchman’s 800th Premier League conflict as Arsenal boss.
They even had an enormous cake within the Emirates media lounge to rejoice the event.
However Wenger insisted he knew nothing of his magnificent milestone till he noticed it on the telly simply earlier than kick-off.
Not that his large day will stay lengthy within the reminiscence as a second-half comeback earned his group one other scrappy house win.
He mentioned afterwards: “I didn’t comprehend it was my 800th recreation.
“I noticed it on the tv earlier than the sport strolling out as a result of I watched Man United in opposition to Tottenham after which Sky Sports activities Information, and it was written on the display that it was my 800th recreation. That was the primary time I noticed it.
“I don’t know the place all these video games have gone since you go to the subsequent one and the subsequent one.”
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However Wenger, who took over on October 1, 1996, virtually dominated out staying in cost for 1,000 top-flight matches.
He mentioned: “For me it could be tough. I would like 200 extra and that’s 5 years you already know.
“ one factor about having such an extended expertise is it makes you humble except you’re utterly silly.
“And I refuse to be utterly silly so that you by no means understand how lengthy you go.”
The notion of Wenger nonetheless being boss in two years will ship a shudder down the backbone of many Gooners who noticed them scrape their tenth successive League win at house in opposition to Swansea.
Sam Clucas’ 22nd-minute end gave the Swans a half-time lead — and it could have been larger had Jordan Ayew not fluffed a fantastic probability.
However Sead Kolasinac levelled with a strong, if barely deflected shot, on 51 minutes.
After which the Bosnian, signed from Schalke for nowt in the summertime, crossed for Aaron Ramsey to fireside in.
Arsenal are fifth in desk forward of two crunch fixtures away to Manchester Metropolis on Sunday earlier than Tottenham at house within the North London derby the week after.
Wenger mentioned: “Sure however let’s simply give attention to the subsequent one first — and the subsequent one is fairly nice, we will put together for Metropolis.
“It’s a large recreation and a difficult one. We’re on a powerful run but it surely’s one other good alternative for us to point out now we have high quality.
“Individuals have Metropolis as champions already however that’s regular as a result of in the intervening time they’re on a very good run.”
And injecting some sarcastic humour he added: “And other people prolong at all times these good runs to the top of the season…
“At some stage, although, they must be stopped.”
Wenger was not the one one who forgot it was his 800th Prem recreation.
Swansea boss Paul Clement mentioned: “I really forgot to say congratulations to him earlier than the match.
“I feel it’s a tremendous achievement.
I’ve a number of respect for him and this membership for his longevity at this stage, for his dedication and perseverance in tough occasions.
“The membership know they’ve an excellent coach and so they stick by him via thick and skinny, irrespective of the pressures exterior to the group and the board.”
At Chelsea, Actual Madrid and others, Clement has beforehand labored at golf equipment the place they alter managers as typically as their kits.
He added: “It’s not a assure for fulfillment as some have had success altering managers. Chelsea and Actual Madrid have executed it that means and have continued to achieve success.
“Some others have been fantastically profitable by having longevity, Manchester United are one and Arsenal is one other.
“Arsene continues to win main trophies. I do know the membership are annoyed they aren’t up there successful the Premier League however it’s much more aggressive now.
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“There was two or three groups that had a sensible probability, now there are 4 or 5.
“He is perhaps 68 however Bayern Munich have simply turned to a 72-year-old to regular the ship and provides them that calm and expertise and he has received each recreation.
“So I don’t suppose age is related, in case you are match and effectively and might draw on that have it might probably solely be a very good factor.
“Do I fancy attending to 800 video games myself? It could be improbable. It’s a giant goal to have longevity at this stage.”